Skip navigation

Duo Protection for Salesforce with Duo Access Gateway

Last Updated: December 4th, 2020

Duo offers a variety of methods for adding two-factor authentication and flexible security policies to Salesforce single sign-on logins, complete with inline self-service enrollment and Duo Prompt.

Looking for a cloud-hosted SSO solution? Try Duo Single Sign-On for Salesforce.


As business applications move from on-premises to cloud hosted solutions, users experience password fatigue due to disparate logons for different applications. Single sign-on (SSO) technologies seek to unify identities across systems and reduce the number of different credentials a user has to remember or input to gain access to resources.

While SSO is convenient for users, it presents new security challenges. If a user's primary password is compromised, attackers may be able to gain access to multiple resources. In addition, as sensitive information makes its way to cloud-hosted services it is even more important to secure access by implementing two-factor authentication.

Duo Access Gateway

Duo Access Gateway (DAG), our on-premises SSO product, layers Duo's strong authentication and flexible policy engine on top of Salesforce logins using the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) 2.0 authentication standard. Duo Access Gateway acts as an identity provider (IdP), authenticating your users using existing on-premises Active Directory (AD) or LDAP credentials and prompting for two-factor authentication before permitting access to Salesforce.

Duo Access Gateway is included in the Duo Beyond, Duo Access, and Duo MFA plans, which also include the ability to define policies that enforce unique controls for each individual SSO application. For example, you can require that Salesforce users complete two-factor authentication at every login, but only once every seven days when accessing Salesforce. Duo checks the user, device, and network against an application's policy before allowing access to the application.

Deploy or Update Duo Access Gateway

  1. Install Duo Access Gateway on a server in your DMZ. Follow our instructions for deploying the server, configuring DAG settings, and adding your primary authentication source.
  2. Add the attributes from the table below that correspond to the Duo attributes Mail attribute and Username attribute in the "Attributes" field when configuring your Active Directory or OpenLDAP authentication source in the DAG admin console, separated by a comma. For example, if Active Directory is your authentication source, enter mail,sAMAccountName in the "Attributes" field.

    Duo Attribute Active Directory OpenLDAP
    Mail attribute mail mail
    Username attribute sAMAccountName uid

    If your organization uses other directory attributes than the ones listed here then enter those attribute names instead. If you've already configured the attributes list for another cloud service provider, append the additional attributes not already present to the list, separated by a comma.

  3. After completing the initial DAG configuration steps, click Applications on the left side of the Duo Access Gateway admin console.

  4. Scroll down the Applications page to the Metadata section. This is the information you need to provide to Salesforce when configuring SSO. Click the Download Certificate link to obtain the token signing certificate (the downloaded file is named "dag.crt").

    DAG Metadata Information

Salesforce Custom Domain Requirement

Salesforce SSO requires a custom domain. If you don't already have a domain for your organization, create one.

  1. Log on to your Salesforce site as an administrator.

  2. If you're using the Salesforce Classic UI, navigate to Domain ManagementMy Domain. If you're using the Salesforce Lightning Experience UI, navigate to SetupSettingsCompany SettingsMy Domain.

  3. Enter a subdomain name, check for availability, and click Register Domain.

  4. When your domain name becomes available, log out and back in as an administrator using your new domain. Navigate back to the "My Domain" page and click the Deploy to Users button.

For more information about creating a custom domain see Salesforce's My Domain help articles.

Enable SSO in Salesforce

Add the Duo Access Gateway as a new single sign-on provider in Salesforce.

  1. Log on to your Salesforce site as an administrator.

  2. In the Salesforce Classic UI, navigate to Security ControlsSingle Sign-On Settings. In the Salesforce Lightning Experience UI, navigate to SetupSettingsIdentitySingle Sign-On Settings.

  3. Click the Edit button and select the SAML Enabled option. Click Save.

  4. Click the New SAML Single Sign-on Settings button.

  5. Enter a descriptive Name for the SSO configuration. Salesforce uses the name you enter here to populate the API Name.

  6. Copy the Entity ID URL from the Duo Access Gateway admin console metadata display and paste it into the Salesforce SSO Issuer field.


  7. Enter your Salesforce organization's custom domain (e.g. into the Entity ID field. Duo also needs the Salesforce domain URL to create your Salesforce application in the next section.

  8. The "Identity Provider Certificate" is the DAG Metadata certificate supplied by Duo Access Gateway. Click the Browse button to select the dag.crt file you downloaded from the DAG admin console Application page earlier. Upload the certificate.

  9. Leave the "Request Signing Certificate", "Request Signature Method", "Assertion Decryption Certificate", "SAML Identity Type", and "SAML Identity Location" settings at their default values for now.

  10. Copy the SSO URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Salesforce SSO Identity Provider Login URL field.


  11. Copy the Logout URL information from the Duo Access Gateway admin console Metadata display and paste it into the Salesforce SSO Identity Provider Logout URL field.


  12. Change the "Service Provider Initiated Request Binding" setting to HTTP Redirect. If the only available option is "HTTP POST" then you must create and deploy a custom domain as shown in Salesforce Custom Domain Requirement.

  13. After you've entered all the required information click the Save button.

    Salesforce Single Sign-On Setting Edit

Review the SSO details for correctness. Make note of the Entity ID and Salesforce Login URL in the "Endpoints" section at the bottom of the details page as you'll need to provide that information to Duo.

Salesforce SSL Settings

Update Salesforce Domain for SSO

Add your new Duo Access Gateway SSO provider to your Salesforce login page.

  1. While logged in to the Salesforce admin site as an administrator navigate to Domain ManagementMy Domain (Salesforce Classic UI) or SetupSettingsCompany SettingsMy Domain (Salesforce Lightning Experience UI).

  2. Scroll down to the "Authentication Configuration" section of the "My Domain" page and click Edit.

  3. Check the box for your Duo Access Gateway SSO configuration in the Authentication Service setting. Click Save.

    Salesforce Domain Authentication Settings

Create the Salesforce Application in Duo

  1. Log on to the Duo Admin Panel and navigate to Applications.

  2. Click Protect an Application and locate the entry for Salesforce with a protection type of "2FA with SSO self-hosted (Duo Access Gateway)" in the applications list. Click Protect to the far-right to start configuring Salesforce. See Protecting Applications for more information about protecting applications in Duo and additional application options.

  3. Copy the Entity ID from the Salesforce SAML Single Sign-On Setting Detail page and enter it into the Entity ID field in the Duo Admin Panel.

  4. Copy the Salesforce Login URL from the Salesforce SAML Single Sign-On Setting Detail page and enter it into the Login URL field in the Duo Admin Panel.

  5. Salesforce uses the Mail attribute when authenticating. We've mapped Mail attribute to DAG supported authentication source attributes as follows:

    Duo Attribute Active Directory OpenLDAP SAML IdP Google Azure
    Mail attribute mail mail mail email mail

    If you are using a non-standard email attribute for your authentication source, check the Custom attributes box and enter the name of the attribute you wish to use instead.

  6. Click Save Configuration to generate a downloadable configuration file.

    Duo Salesforce Application Settings

  7. You can adjust additional settings for your new SAML application at this time — like changing the application's name from the default value, enabling self-service, or assigning a group policy — or come back and change the application's policies and settings after you finish SSO setup. If you do update any settings, click the Save Changes button when done.

  8. Click the Download your configuration file link to obtain the Salesforce application settings (as a JSON file).

    Important: This file contains information that uniquely identifies this application to Duo. Secure this file as you would any other sensitive or password information. Don't share it with unauthorized individuals or email it to anyone under any circumstances!

Add the Salesforce Application to Duo Access Gateway

Before you do this, verify that you updated the "Attributes" list for your Duo Access Gateway authentication source as specified here.

  1. Return to the Applications page of the DAG admin console session.

  2. Click the Choose File button in the "Add Application" section of the page and locate the Salesforce SAML application JSON file you downloaded from the Duo Admin Panel earlier. Click the Upload button after selecting the JSON configuration file.

  3. The Salesforce SAML application is added.

    Salesforce Application Added

Refer to the Salesforce article Configuring SAML Settings for Single Sign-On for additional information.

Verify SSO

Navigate to your Salesforce custom domain. The login page for your domain now shows a button for DAG SSO authentication underneath the traditional username and password entry fields. Clicking the SSO button redirects you to the Duo Access Gateway login page.

Salesforce Login Page

Enter your primary directory logon information, approve Duo two-factor authentication, and get redirected back to the Salesforce site after authenticating.

DAG Login and Authentication Prompt

To log in using the Salesforce1 mobile app, click the app menu and select Change Server. Select your custom domain from the list (or click Add Connection and add your Salesforce custom domain URL, and click Apply. The app shows the Salesforce login page for your domain, including the button for DAG SSO authentication underneath the traditional username and password entry fields. Clicking the SSO button redirects you to the Duo Access Gateway login page. Complete primary and Duo authentication to complete login on the Salesforce1 app.

Congratulations! Your Salesforce users now authenticate using Duo Access Gateway.

Configure Allowed Hostnames

If you plan to permit use of WebAuthn authentication methods (security keys, U2F tokens, or Touch ID), Duo recommends configuring allowed hostnames for this application and any others that show the inline Duo Prompt before onboarding your end-users.

Next Steps

If you want all users logging in to Salesforce only via Duo Access Gateway, edit the "Authentication Configuration" for your Salesforce domain and uncheck the Login Page authentication service option. You should also edit "My Domain Settings" and enable the "Prevent login from" option.

Enable Remembered Devices

To minimize additional Duo two-factor prompts when switching between Salesforce and your other Duo Access Gateway SAML applications, be sure to apply a shared "Remembered Devices" policy to your SAML applications. See the Duo Access Gateway with Remembered Devices instructions.

Microsoft AD FS

Microsoft's Active Directory Federation Services (AD FS) is a popular choice for SSO because it easily integrates with the AD identity store many organizations already have deployed. Duo's support for cloud applications and SSO drops in to an existing AD FS installation to provide secondary authentication after a user passes primary authentication (successful Active Directory logon).

If you don't already have AD federation running the first step is to install and configure Microsoft AD FS in your organization. Deployment Guides for AD FS versions 2.1, and 3.0/4.0 are available from Microsoft.

Once your AD FS services are up and running, the second step is to configure the SSO partnership between your AD FS service and the external cloud resource, in this case Salesforce. Learn more about configuring Salesforce SSO with AD FS at the Salesforce Developer Wiki.

After you have successfully configured and tested AD FS SSO login to Salesforce using your AD domain credentials, you can then install the Duo AD FS integration. AD FS protection is included with Duo's paid plans.

With the Duo integration for AD FS installed, users pass primary authentication to the AD FS service as usual. Once primary authentication succeeds, users are forwarded to the Duo service for secondary authentication. After approving logon using one of Duo's authentication methods, the user is fully logged in to Salesforce.

Other Identity Partners

Using a third-party SSO provider for cloud application access? Duo partners with leading cloud SSO providers like Okta and OneLogin to secure access with our strong and flexible authentication platform.

You can also use Duo two-factor authentication with CAS and Shibboleth on-premises IdPs.


Need some help? Try searching our Knowledge Base articles or Community discussions. For further assistance, contact Support.